Collection + Exhibits

Object of the Month

 

Get a glimpse of the past with highlighted artifacts from the museum’s collection.

With more than 10,00 artifacts in our collection, there’s a lot to learn about. Come along with us as we unearth one item a month and take a deep dive into its use, significance, and any community stories connected to its history, meaning, or purpose.

From archival photographs to awards, manufacturing tools and inventions to locally made holiday ornaments from a once renown manufacturer—get a glimpse into the past, right now.

March 2024: Rosie the Riveter lunch box

In honor of Women’s History Month, our object for March is a “Rosie the Riveter” lunch box currently on display in our 2024 exhibit, “Unseen Hands, The Hidden Elements of Labor.” Over the last several decades, J. Howard Miller’s design of a female worker dressed in a denim jumpsuit and a red bandana presenting her bicep has been a notable symbol of women’s empowerment in and outside the workplace. Initially published in 1942 and privately distributed on a small scale, “Rosie the Riveter” was just one of thousands of wartime posters produced in the 1940s to increase production, boost morale, and prevent strikes. After being lost for nearly a half-century, Miller’s poster resurfaced in the 1980s and has since become an indistinguishable portrayal of feminism in the United States and across the world.  

Did you miss a past Object of The Month?

We’ve gone through a treasure trove of items from our collection over the years. Scroll through and see what you may have missed.

July 2023: Commemorative Coca-Cola Bottles

July 2023: Commemorative Coca-Cola Bottles

It's July and this month's object is a familiar looking beverage. Before you think about cracking into these Coke bottles, you should know that they were filled and sealed nearly 30 years ago. These commemorative Coca-Cola bottles were just a few of the souvenirs...

June 2023: “Piping Rock” Bedspread Catalog

June 2023: “Piping Rock” Bedspread Catalog

June is LGBTQ+ Pride month. As a symbol of our commitment to celebrating the told and untold stories of our region, including those of the LGBTQ+ community, we are featuring this multi-colored “Piping Rock” Bedspread Catalog for our June object of the month. This...

May 2023: Bates IDs and AFL-CIO Membership Cards

May 2023: Bates IDs and AFL-CIO Membership Cards

This month we are featuring a husband and wife's Bates Division Identification Card and both of their AFL-CIO Life Memberships Cards -- four of many in our collection! These union cards and Bates IDs belonged to Eugene and Lucille Bazinet, who both work at the Bates...

April 2023: Atherton Furniture Antique Plate

April 2023: Atherton Furniture Antique Plate

April's object of the month is this 7-inch white plate with a green imprint of the great falls in Lewiston from the Atherton Furniture company. The plate was manufactured by Homer Laughlin China and was from the American Beauty line. The Atherton Furniture company was...

March 2023: Women in the mills

March 2023: Women in the mills

In recognition of women’s history month, we are highlighting two photographs from our collection of women working in the mills. Women played a crucial role in the manufacturing history of Lewiston-Auburn.  The textile mills provided women an opportunity for work...

February 2023: Bates Bedspread, Valentine’s Day Edition

February 2023: Bates Bedspread, Valentine’s Day Edition

This is a Bates bedspread with hearts and flowers on it. The bedspread is reversible: one side has flowers and hearts that are pink and white on a green background, the other side has flowers and hearts that are green and white on a pink background. This is one of the...

January 2023: Murphy’s Fur Coat

January 2023: Murphy’s Fur Coat

This month the museum is highlighting a Murphy’s fur coat. Murphy’s was a fur business started by T.J. Murphy in 1873 that had two locations in Lewiston: one on Ash street and one on Lisbon street. They became nationally known for their high quality and their direct...

December 2022: Bates Bedspread Snowman

December 2022: Bates Bedspread Snowman

To celebrate the holiday season, our December object of the month is this festive bedspread disguised as a snowman. Almost all of the bedspreads in our collection remain in their original condition, but this one was given new life, dressed up for the holidays, and...

November 2022: War Ration Booklet

November 2022: War Ration Booklet

With Veteran’s Day approaching later this month, our object of the month is a ration booklet held in our collection. As with many areas of life, the textile, brick, and shoemaking industries of the Androscoggin region felt the effects of WWII. For example, many mills...

Help preserve Maine MILL artifacts

Antique and vintage items need a lot of maintenance to prolong their lifetime. Help us to preserve and care for these historical items and representations of our community’s history by donating today.